The Song That Wrote Itself

Mrs. Howe jotted down the “Battle Hymn” in haste, but she lived to hear a nation sing it, and went to her grave to its tune

Just four days after the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter, the 12th Massachusetts marched through the streets of Boston on their way to the Worcester and Western Railroad Station. Every one of them was a volunteer, and proud of it, and everything that was youth and eagerness and adventure was in the air that April day as they passed in review for the crowds to see and cheer. This was the great crusade, and the boys in new blue uniforms, with their glistening guns and bright bayonets, were on the march to make things right.

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